Perfect for a wintry day! And goodness, just how delicious. Outrageously so! I spied this in last week's New York Magazine, there it was, just calling my name. It's all very easy to make, the roast is the only thing that takes time, but that's just the slow time involved to cook the meat; there's no fussing over it at all. And it's really only two hours of agonizing over the amazing aroma wafting through the kitchen, desperate to dig in. Do laundry or tend to the garden to take your mind off of it. But there are other simple things to do involving this wondrous creation, such as making the Henry Bain sauce and the pico de lettuce to be later stuffed in a warm baguette.
Click here for the full story about Mr. Henry Bain and his classic sauce/condiment, both of which hail from Louisville.
The roast, all rubbed down, ready to go in the oven. Seen here before...
Off-Oven Roast Beef
1 beef roast, like top, eye or bottom round, approximately 3 pounds
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
Red-pepper flakes to taste
Remove roast from refrigerator. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil and red-pepper flakes to create a kind of paste. Rub this all over the roast. Place beef in a roasting pan or cast-iron skillet, fat-side up, and put in oven. Cook undisturbed for 5 minutes per pound.
Turn off oven. Do not open oven door. Leave roast to continue cooking, undisturbed, for two hours.
After two hours, remove roast from oven. Slice and serve alongside, ideally, a watercress salad, some skillet-fried potatoes and a small tureen of Henry Bain sauce.
4 to 6 main courses, with leftovers for sandwiches
Making Mr. Bain's sauce at a slow simmer until just thickened, while cooking the meat. This sauce is cooled down and refrigerated until ready for use.
Henry Bain Sauce
1/3 cup mango or peach chutney, best available
4 tablespoons of your favorite steak sauce
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 tablespoons chili sauce
2 tablespoon ketchup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Hot sauce, to taste
4 tablespoons chopped watercress, optional
In a small pot set over medium heat, stir all the ingredients except the watercress. Heat until slightly thickened, then remove from heat. Allow to cool and refrigerate until ready to use.
Just before serving, if you like, stir chopped watercress into the sauce.
...And after! The juicy roast, having sat in the oven off-heat for two hours.
Pico de Lettuce
1 head romaine lettuce, cleaned, dried and cut into chiffonade
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 small red onion, or half a medium-size one, peeled and sliced very thin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
Pinch of salt
Put the lettuce into a medium-size nonreactive bowl. Set aside.
In a small nonreactive bowl, combine the other ingredients and whisk to emulsify. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Mix together the lettuce and the dressing and allow to sit, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Drain off some of the juice that will accumulate at the bottom of the bowl. Use on a sandwich.
While the roast rested, I heated up loaves of par-baked bread for the sandwiches.
Here's our meaty friend at rest on a carving board having been transferred, soaking up all the juices.
All there is left to do is to slice the meat, slather the bread with the sauce and top with the nostril-tingling dressed lettuce, having essentially pickled the onions and garlic with the acid from the lemon juice. Once everything comes together--consummate this marriage and EAT!
Thanks to the Times for such an outstanding outing!